A vast majority of musicians write about things that they either love or hate-- whether it means certain places, politics, or even other musicians. Here are eight songs written about other musicians.
1. Elf Power - "Loverboy's Demise" (1995)
Based on Elf Power's psychedelic lo-fi sound, you wouldn't think that the band would be fans of a huge '80s rock band like Loverboy, but that's exactly who they're singing about in "Loverboy's Demise." The song tells the sad story of a guy who goes to see a Loverboy show, but is disappointed to find that the band is way past its prime, closing out with the lines, "Let's go home and listen to the album/I don't think I can watch anymore."
2. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "Under the Hedge" (2001)
As I wrote about in a previous article, Ted Leo once got into a fight with Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard in a dispute over set lengths. Leo wrote about the incident in the song "Under the Hedge" for the Pharmacists' second album The Tyranny of Distance, though the incident takes on an air of disappointment rather than anger from his point of view.
3. The Flaming Lips - "Kim's Watermelon Gun" (1995)
The "Kim" of the Flaming Lips' classic "Kim's Watermelon Gun" is supposedly Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, though some believe it's actually Kim Deal of the Pixies, but whatever "watermelon gun" is supposed to mean is completely beyond me. The song has a vague sentiment of love conquering hate, though it's unclear why Kim Gordon/Deal is mentioned by name.
4. Nico - "You Forget to Answer" (1974)
German singer Nico worked professionally with some of the greatest musicians of the '60s, including the Velvet Underground and Jackson Browne, but she had a romantic relationship with one of the era's most legendary: Jim Morrison. For her 1974 album The End... (Named after the Doors song of the same name, which she covered), she wrote a song about Morrison called "You Forget to Answer," about the day she found out Morrison had died in 1971.
5. The Replacements - "Alex Chilton" (1987)
Along with R.E.M., the Replacements were one of the countless alternative rock bands of the '80s who cited the underappreciated power-pop band Big Star as an influence. Big Star's frontman Alex Chilton played guitar on the band's classic song, "Can't Hardly Wait," and on the very same album, the band would write a song called "Alex Chilton" in his honor.
6. Nirvana - "Drain You" (1991)
Before he married Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain dated another feminist punk icon: Tobi Vail, drummer for Bikini Kill. Many of the songs from Nevermind were written about their failed relationship, including "Lithium" and "Lounge Act," but "Drain You," would directly quote Vail in the song's opening lyrics.
7. Led Zeppelin - "Going to California" (1971)
Though many of Led Zeppelin's lyrics were influenced by American blues, (or flat out stolen), Robert Plant was capable of writing more poetic and mystical lyrics when it came to the band's folk-influenced numbers. Led Zeppelin IV's "Going to California" is a prime example of Plant's maturing lyricism, a song written about folk singer Joni Mitchell, a girl "with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair."
8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - much of The Boatman's Call (1997)
Based on the sinister quality of much of his music, Nick Cave doesn't seem like the kind of guy who could have his heart broken, but on 1997's The Boatman's Call, Cave wrote a number songs about singer PJ Harvey, who he had an affair with in the mid-90s. Songs such as "Into My Arms," "West Country Girl," and "Black Hair" were inspired by their break-up.